MEM 503: PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION 1
PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
Overview of Philosophy of Education
Etymology of Philosophy
Philosophy derives from the two Ancient Greek words “philo” which means “love” and
“sophia” which means “wisdom”. Hence, philosophy means love of wisdom.
Definitions of Philosophy, Education and Philosophy of Education
Philosophy is the science of all things according to its causes, principles, effects, and
attributes studied through the light of human reason alone (Gabitan & Costales, Jr,
Philosophy is the humanistic field that attempts to answer essential questions
through human reasoning.
Education is a system which the knowledge and skills are acquired and developed
through a schematic learning process.
Education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge,
developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally preparing oneself
or others intellectually for mature life (Dictionary.Com, n.d.).
C. Philosophy of Education
Philosophy of Education is the study of education attempting to resolve questions of
education- discerning the best approach in educating a person.
Branches of Philosophy
1. Epistemology is the study of the nature, origin, and scope of human knowledge.
How do we acquire knowledge?
Do we possess any innate knowledge?
How we should we teach?
2. Metaphysics is the study of the nature, meaning and existence of reality.
Does God exist?
What is the nature of the mind?
What makes an individual an individual?
3. Axiology or Ethics is the study of values. It deals with the concepts and principles that
underlie our evaluations of human behaviors.
Is euthanasia humane or inhumane?
Is homosexuality moral or immoral?
Is abortion the solution to prevent increase in population?
4. Politics is the study of government and nations.
What obligations teachers have towards their students?
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What makes good government?
5. Aesthetics is the study of the nature of beauty.
What is work of art?
What do we mean when we say something is beautiful or ugly?
Relationship of Philosophy and Education
Philosophy is theoretical and speculative while education is practical.
Philosophy asks questions, and examines facts of reality and experience and many of which
are involved in the educative process while the process of educating is a matter of actively
dealing with factors such teaching, organizing programs, administering organizations and
Philosophy yields a comprehensive understanding of reality, a world view, which when
applied to educational practices lends direction and methodology which are likely to be
lacking otherwise. In education, the experience of the teacher in nurturing the young places
him in touch with phases of reality which are considered in making philosophical judgments.
While philosophy is a guide to educational practice, education as a field of investigation
yields certain data as basis for philosophical judgments (Zulueta & Malaya, 2012).
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Greatest Philosophers and their Philosophies to Education
a. Knowledge is wisdom which, in effect, means virtue.
b. The problem of evil is the result of ignorance.
c. Knowledge is virtue and ignorance is vice.
d. Knowledge is the basis of all right actions including the art of living.
a. The end of education is not knowledge alone. It is the union of the innate intellect of
the individual and his will. It is knowledge expressed in action.
b. Virtue which is moral excellence, goodness and righteousness is not possession of
knowledge. It is the state of the will.
c. The process of correct thinking can be reduced to rule like physics and geometry, and
taught to any normal mind.
d. Advocates the practice of moderation.
e. Vices are irrational habits or practices because they often stem from passion which
often goes beyond reason.
a. Every individual should devote his life to what is best fitted for him to do.
b. The important function of education is to determine what every individual is by
nature capable and fitted of doing things.
c. Poor leadership will lead to wrong decisions, and an individual who should lead
society be endowed with superior intelligence and possessed impeccable integrity.
d. The physical objects are not permanent representations of unchanging ideas, and
that the ideas alone give true knowledge as they are known by the mind.
a. Development of moral and ethical principles to promote peace and order and
preserve human dignity. Order and harmony should begin in the inner nature of man.
b. Golden rule: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”
c. Reason and natural law constantly enjoy man to live righteously to offend no one and
to give one his due. Reason is supposed to rule and regulate the lower craving of man
such as appetites and passions.
d. Justice and love always go together.
e. The coming into being of the perfect man is a perfect social order is simply the full
development of the human personality through the realization of man’s powers and
natural endowments- his physical, intellectual, emotional, political and economic
a. Development of the whole man before he becomes professional.
b. Effective learning is done through the use of the vernacular.
c. Both boys and girls should be included in education regardless of their socio-
d. Advocated the use of visual aids in classroom teaching.
6. John Locke
a. Tabular Rasa: “A child is born with a blank mind neither good nor bad.”
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b. Education can help shape the pupil according to the disposition of the teacher.
c. Emphasized formal discipline, moral and physical education.
d. Methods of instruction should consider habit formation through drill and exercise,
memorization and reasoning.
7. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
a. Education is a social process of organized growth and development.
b. Education should be in accordance with the laws of natural growth and development
of the child.
c. Lessons were to be learned through direct experience with objects and places
through observation, inquiry and reasoning.
d. Emphasis on method and technique of imparting knowledge and information.
e. Reality is objective and is composed of matter and form; it is fixed, based on natural
f. Subject matter curriculum should be humanistic.
8. Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel
a. He proposed “kindergarten system” which emphasizes on playing as means of
education for children.
b. Education should be accompanied with spirit of informality and joy.
c. Self-activity as means of development.
d. Individual differences should be respected.
e. A subject matter curriculum emphasizing the great and enduring ideas of culture.
9. Johann Friedrich Herbart
a. Learning should lead to character formation.
b. Aim of education should be ethical and moral.
c. The curriculum should include a wide range of subjects.
d. Unity could be achieved through reflection and could be greatly aided by a
correlation of subject matter.
10. Herbert Spencer
a. Knowledge acquired that is best for use in life is also the best for the development of
b. Emphasis on physical activity.
c. Science-oriented curriculum.
d. Opposed to free education; those who really want an education should work hard to
acquire the means to attain it.
11. John Dewey
a. Learning by doing.
b. Education is life, not preparation of life.
c. Education is a social process.
d. Education is growth and a continuous reconstruction of experience.
e. The center of education is the child’s own social activities.
f. The school is primarily a social institution.